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The Neolithic


Neolithic Cursus, Holywood


This Early Neolithic  cursus has square terminals and is defined by a broad ditch, which is broken by causeways at several points along its sides. It measures about 285m from NNW to SSE by 35m across, but narrows to about 22m towards its northern end, where it appears to terminate on a slightly higher part of the terrace. 

The name cursus, used for long enclosures such as this, was coined by early antiquarians because they thought the sites looked like the long Roman circuses used for chariot racing.


A later ring-ditch, the ploughed out remains of a Bronze Age round barrow, can be sen as a faint circular cropmark within the northern terminal on the left.

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